In almost every Singapore food hawker centre, you will find a ‘Western Food’ stall. These stalls are termed as such as they serve up meals where meat, be it char-grilled or crispy deep-fried, reigns supreme as the main staple, relegating rice to a side dish.
As a young boy growing up in the 80s and 90s, the rare privilege of indulging in Western Food was a treasured treat. And if my parents brought me to Western-style establishments like Jack’s Place, it felt like going to Western Food nirvana.
So, when we received an email inviting us to a tasting session for an upcoming Tenderloin Fest at Jack’s Place, I leapt at the opportunity, eager to reminisce about the good old days.
Presented with the choice of attending the session at either the Ang Mo Kio or Bras Basah outlets – both venerable institutions since 1979 and the 1980s, respectively – I opted for Bras Basah. Its proximity to our office made it a convenient lunchtime gastronomic escape.
Stepping into the Bras Basah outlet was akin to a journey back in time. Since Jack Place’s last rebranding in 2008 under the JP Pepperdine banner, the nostalgic green and white chequered table spreads remain unchanged. The staff, ever cordial, even amidst a media event, promptly catered to our requests.
Tenderloin Fest is an annual culinary celebration where Jack’s Place pays homage to its signature tenderloin steak, meticulously sourced from premium grass-fed New Zealand beef, celebrated for its buttery tenderness and robust flavours.
The Tale of a Tail
This year, the main highlight of the Tenderloin Fest is the Roasted Tenderloin Tail. It was presented as the culinary masterpiece, complemented by Cajun sauce, a perfectly baked potato, and garnished with a vibrant medley of herb-infused pickled cherry tomatoes and the freshest of seasonal vegetables.
Yes, I have heard of the tenderloin, a prized cut of beef that nestles subtly beneath the ribs, adjacent to the backbone, but I was unaware the tenderloin had a tail. A revelation to some, myself included, the tenderloin is an elongated muscle distinguished by its two distinct ends: the butt and the more tapered ‘tail’.
The ‘tail’, slender and pointed, is located just beyond the ribs, somewhere in the short loin. Tenderloin extends from here towards the cow’s rear, gradually widening in girth until the end of the cut in the sirloin region. This muscle does very little, contributing to the tenderloin’s renowned tenderness and succulence.
The doneness of the Roasted Tenderloin Tail is fixed at a perfect medium, striking a harmonious balance between a seared exterior and a lusciously pink, juicy centre. The tenderloin tail, already celebrated for its innate tenderness, is at its absolute best here, delivering rich flavours and soft texture in every bite.
The Roasted Tenderloin Tail is a generous serving for two. But if one’s appetite demands more, Jack’s Place’s array of signature tenderloins beckons.
For the adventurous with a penchant for Surf and Turf, the Carpetbag Steak with fresh New Zealand oyster stuffing is a tantalising choice. We didn’t get to sample this marine-meets-land delight, but it’s a regular at Tenderloin Fest, so that’s saying something.
Jack’s Place Tenderloin Fest runs from September to October 2023. And with 1st September 2023 being a national holiday in Singapore due to the Presidential Election, what better way to celebrate your civic duty than a visit to Jack’s Place?
In addition, diners earn a Tenderloin Fest stamp for every order of a tenderloin steak, and four stamps will allow them to redeem SGD10 off their next purchase during the period of the Tenderloin Fest.
For more information on Jack’s Place Tenderloin Fest 2023, please visit https://www.jacksplace.com.sg/